HomeSpace NewsBright fireball over Madrid traced back to comet of origin

Bright fireball over Madrid traced back to comet of origin

A particularly bright meteor seen in the skies of Earth on July 31 has been tracked back to a comet that created a field of debris when it began to disintegrate thousands of years ago. 

Scientists believe that the fragment that ended its life as a fireball over Madrid, Spain, began its existence as part of Comet 169P/NEAT, which formed at the same time as the solar system, around 4.6 billion years ago. The comet, an icy body that sheds debris as it travels, is responsible for the Alpha Capricornids annual meteor shower, which first occurred between 3,500 and 5,000 years ago when around half of Comet 169P/NEAT disintegrated.

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